Toni Craige is a passionate explorer of dance and somatic practice currently based in Northampton, MA with roots in North Carolina. From Fall 2018 to the present, she has been working towards her MFA in Choreography and Performance at Smith College and teaching undergraduate dance courses in the Five College Dance Department. In addition to her work as a dance artist and teacher, Toni has sustained a professional massage and bodywork therapy practice since 2012 and worked as a psychotherapist treating addiction from 2015 until beginning her MFA in 2018.
Education, Certification, and Licenses
Body Mind Centering Somatic Movement Educator (SME), 2019
Licensed Professional Counselor, Associate (LPCA), 2016
M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Therapy, North Carolina State University, 2016
Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (NC LMBT #12685), Body Therapy Institute, 2012
B.A. in Dance, Wesleyan University, 2009
200-hour yoga teacher training, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, 2007
Toni’s work as a dance artist has been influenced by her professional experience in healing arts and psychotherapy, as well as her longtime practice of Contact Improvisation, Body-Mind Centering, and Authentic Movement. Integrating improvisation and choreography, she creates work that communicates the performers’ subjectivity and facilitates a deepened experience of community and humanity for audiences. In recent years she has performed in works by Angie Hauser, Marsha Thomas, Sara Phoenix, Renee Ohe, Kate Davis, Leah Wilks, and Stephanie Cohen. Toni is currently pursuing her M.F.A at Smith College, where she received a full scholarship and Teaching Fellowship. In the summer of 2019, she received the Gretchen Moran Fellowship for her summer research on movement in weightless environments.
Toni has been a dedicated practitioner of contact improvisation since 2007, strongly impacted by the teachings of Nancy Stark Smith, Chris Aiken, Alicia Grayson, and many others. From 2011 to 2018, she focused on teaching contact improvisation in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, helping to transform a dormant scene into a hub of improvisation in the Southeast.
Toni began her journey as a healing arts professional as a yoga teacher. At age 19, she completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu in Western Massachusetts and has been teaching ever since. Toni studied massage therapy at Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, North Carolina, graduating in 2012. She continued her education in hands-on healing through the study of Trager Bodywork, Thai Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Neuromuscular Reprogramming, Sound Healing, and Body-Mind Centering. In addition to honing her hands-on technique, she has completed 150 hours of training on somatic approaches to teaching, learning, and change with the Center for Embodied Education.
Toni is a 2016 graduate of the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at North Carolina State University. While she is not currently seeing clients for psychotherapy, her counseling skills enrich her bodywork practice. When clients open up about their experiences with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, relationship issues, and addiction, she is prepared to provide somatic experiences and skills to support coping and insight. From 2015 to 2018 Toni provided yoga and mindfulness instruction in addition to individual, group, and family therapy to clients in recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders in Raleigh, NC.